“Croatian police faking to take a group to the hospital in order to push them back to Bosnia. ”

  • Date and time: January 28, 2022 09:30
  • Location: Đurin Potok, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.12555, 15.784915
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 10 (2 women, 3 men, 3 babies, 2 children). person(s), age: 26 years old, rest unkown , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride, reckless driving
  • Police involved: 6 Croatian policemen in dark blue uniform, 1 white van, 2 police cars
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

The respondent is a 26-year-old woman from Afghanistan. She fled her country with her husband three years ago and arrived in Bosnia three months ago. She explained that, together, they try to cross the border to ask for asylum in Croatia every day from Monday to Friday. She even added that sometimes, when they are pushed back by the police in the morning, they try again later in the afternoon. She hence stated that she has lost count of how many times she attempted the journey.

On the 28th of January 2022, the respondent reported that her husband and her, along with two other families including three babies and two young children, left Velika Kladusa at 4 am. They walked for around 45 minutes and crossed the border somewhere between Pasin Potok and Maljevac. Then, they walked for about 3 hours towards Cetingrad.

The respondent explained that when they got to Cetingrad, they directly went up to the police station in order to ask for asylum there (45.158399, 15.740437). She declared there were around ten Croatian police officers dressed in dark blue uniforms in the station. The group immediately asked for asylum saying “need asylum” but the policemen did not listen to them. The respondent added that she asked for a doctor for the other woman travelling with them because she was sick. One policeman then told them to get in the van claiming they would take them to a hospital. That way, not even three minutes after they had entered the station, they were already in the back of a van being in reality driven to the border, how they soon after discovered.

The van was described as a white van without a police logo which had no windows in the back. It was escorted by two white cars with the Croatian police logo on them. The ten of them sat in the back of the van on metallic benches without any real grips. The respondent stated that the policemen drove recklessly, purposefully pushing down the brakes violently so they would fall onto each other. The respondent added that the police had put the air conditioning on cold so that it was freezing inside. The drive lasted for about one hour, until they arrived at the border in Đurin Potok at around 9:30 am (45.125550, 15.784915).

The respondent reported that when they were taken out of the van, the sick woman fell to the ground. The group tried to ask for help but the six policemen simply laughed and told them to leave and “go Bosnia”. The respondent explained she insisted and asked for some medicine but one of the policemen punched her on her shoulder in order to make her silent. She added that the child of the sick woman – who is around 5 years-old – also went to the officers crying and asking for help, but the policemen repelled him motioning punches and thus threatening to beat him so he would go away. The policemen eventually told the group to take the sick woman and leave for Bosnia, reportedly threatening to run over her with a car if she stayed there.

The group thus had to walk for more than three hours to go back to Velika Kladusa where they arrived at around 1 pm.